Preface: An Introduction To Dendroarchaeology In The Southeastern United States
AuthorGrissino-Mayer, Henri D.
AffiliationLaboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee–Knoxville
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Collection InformationThis item is part of the Tree-Ring Research (formerly Tree-Ring Bulletin) archive. For more information about this peer-reviewed scholarly journal, please email the Editor of Tree-Ring Research at email@example.com.
CitationGrissino-Mayer, H.D., 2009. PREFACE- An introduction to dendroarchaeology in the Southeastern United States. Tree-Ring Research 65(1):4-10.
AbstractDendroarchaeology has a discontinuous history in the Southeastern United States, mostly because of misconceptions (the Southeast is too mesic), bad sampling practices (no standard protocol exists for preserving prehistoric wood samples), and a lack of reference tree-ring chronologies long enough to date wood from the abundant prehistoric sites. The majority of archaeological applications in recent years has focused on the dating of historic sites and structures to verify the documented year(s) of construction largely in response to requests from historical agencies to verify when a particular structure was built. We have found that most structures are one to two generations younger than their reported date(s) of construction, but most agencies find this information useful as tree-ring dating lends historical credibility to any site. The future of dendroarchaeology in the Southeast is encouraging but many more trained experts are needed to meet the demand of dating historical structures and sites. Furthermore, once a sampling protocol becomes standardized for retrieving wood from prehistoric sites, the potential for absolute dating of these sites is enormous given that abundant wood is archived in locations throughout the Southeast.